It still seems slightly bonkers to me that I’ve been going to see a therapist for over a year – but only because that time has flown by so fast!
I feel that during this time I have established a great relationship with my therapist, as she does an amazing job of asking the right questions and listening. She also makes great suggestions and is all-around a great match for my needs.
But I realise for those that might not have ever been to see a therapist and are considering starting therapy, it can be a bit daunting.
So in today’s sponsored post (another collaboration with BetterHelp), I want to put your collective minds at ease with a few tips on getting the most out of seeing a therapist!
Tip #1: Have a consultation call first
Most therapists should offer a consultation call before booking in a therapy session with you. This is a chance for you to get a feel for if they are a good match – and for them to understand what you would like to get out of therapy.
I remember the day of my consultation call clearly. I had it booked in for just after work so I rushed to my car, sat and waited nervously for the phone to ring. As it began to buzz, I felt really uneasy but quickly tapped the answer button and within minutes I felt much more relaxed as I was asked some simple questions about myself and why I was looking to begin therapy.
At the time, my reason really was the stress and anxiousness I was prone to. I didn’t have a “specific” reason, I just wanted to talk to someone impartial who might be able to help. There are no wrong reasons for wanting therapy so answer as honestly as you can.
After the call, I felt much more comfortable with the idea of it all, and in all honesty was mostly looking forward to the first session to be over so I knew what I was getting into!
Tip #2: Make sure your session schedule works for you
Because I work for myself from home, I can be pretty flexible with when I got to visit my therapist. However, I stick to having the sessions in the evening after work usually on a Wednesday or Thursday evening. I don’t like the idea of having them during the working day – after all, you never know how you’re going to feel after and you want the sessions to be as unintrusive as possible.
I recommend going for an evening session because, to be honest, sometimes you can feel pretty shit after a session and all you want to do is get home, throw on your PJs and eat some Ben & Jerry’s. Imagine having to go to work/back to work feeling like that…
Your therapist should be pretty flexible as well – and don’t be afraid to search elsewhere for one who is if they aren’t willing to budge! My therapist works into the evening and so I usually book my therapy sessions for around 5-5:30pm.
Tip #3: Relax!
OK, so it’s much easier said than done, especially when you first start out, but going to a therapy session as relaxed as possible is key to being able to open up emotionally and get the very most out of your session.
On the way to my sessions, I listen to the radio to relax me (and on the odd occasion a podcast or a Spotify playlist) and try not to get too in my head about what I’m going to talk about. I’ve actually discovered over time that when I feel like I have “nothing to talk about”, I get the most out of it so try not to invent things to fill the time.
Although on the flip side of that, if you do have something specific you want to cover that is definitely OK too!
Tip #4: Be comfortable
You really don’t need to impress your therapist. There’s no point dressing up to the nines to go to therapy sessions because sometimes I end up leaving looking like a snotty mess.
Therapy is designed to “get your emotions out”, and feeling comfortable enough to do so can sometimes come down to how physically comfortable you feel. Although I tend to go along in whatever I’ve worn during the day, I might opt for a cosy jumper that gives me extra comfort or avoid wearing makeup if I don’t have it on already.
It’s entirely up to you how you dress for a therapy session, but just know you definitely don’t need to dress to impress.
These tips should help you feel more relaxed for your therapy sessions and as a result, be prepared to be open and honest which will mean you get the most value out of them.
Thank you again to BetterHelp for sponsoring this post. They have written a great article on the difference between a psychologist and a therapist if you fancy checking it out click here.